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Ret. MSgt. Antonio (Tony) Gill, Sr., born September 2, 1927, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, at the age of 85. He was preceded in death by his parents: Ignacio Gill (Gil), Andrea Martinez, and stepmother, Elvira Griego; and siblings: Maria Ignacia, Maria, Crisanta, Canuto, and Paul. He is survived by his children, Antonio (Tony) Jr. and Irene; grandchildren, Jasen and Karen; great granddaughter, Angelina; the mother of his children and the person who comforted and cared for him during his illness, Irma; siblings: Refugia, Josefina, Virginia, Ignacio Jr., Miguel, Jesse, Stella, Lupe, Linda, Anita and Aurora; and many nieces, nephews and other family members.
He was the fourth of seventeen children born in the farming community of Las Partidas in Wilson County, Texas, where farmers held weekend horse races and his brother, Canuto, was a favorite jockey. He attended Heirholzer Elementary (by El Borrego Creek), a two-room school "way out in the woods" in Wilson County. His fondest memories were as a student at this school, led by Principal Victor J. Miculka, a great teacher and mentor who taught him many things such as how to haul water from an Artesian well and how to play softball. At the age of 15, he left school to work on the farms with his father. He was once paid $5 to participate in a cattle round-up, an experience he recounted often. As a youngster, he loved riding horses, catching and selling snakes, and riding to town on a wagon.
In 1945, he was drafted into the Army Air Corps (Air Force), where he served, among other places, in France and Germany during WWII, Korea during the Korean War, and Vietnam and Guam during the Vietnam War before retiring in 1967 from Lackland AFB in San Antonio after 22 years of service. His patriotism for our country never faltered.
Besides farming and his career with the Air Force, he was a manager for a retail service station company, a banker, and a small business owner until he retired in 1993. His greatest attributes were honesty, integrity, and respect. He spent his retirement years enjoying life. He loved music, dancing, and spending time with his family and friends. He made friends everywhere he went and never met a stranger. He enjoyed playing golf, going to fiestas, watching horse races, discussing current events, and keeping up with sports, especially baseball. He was a member of the VFW, the American Legion, and the Knights of Columbus at Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church.
Services will be held Monday, July 29, 2013 from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 pm at Castle Ridge Mortuary. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 10:00 am at Resurrection of the Lord Catholic Church followed by interment at San Fernando Cemetery No 2.
We are grateful to the staff at Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care who provided loving care for Tony during his illness and transition to eternal life with our Lord.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to a
Castle Ridge Mortuary
8008 Military Dr. W San Antonio, TX 78227
Published in Express-News on July 26, 2013